Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sasha's Kitchen: Post-Thanksgiving Blog on Thanksgiving Desserts

I would like more than anything to host Thanksgiving in our condo in Brooklyn, or to live somewhere with enough space to host my family and/or my in-laws under one roof. This is certainly a challenge I welcome. Unfortunately, we live in Park Slope and space isn't what it is in suburbia. So we have a nice dining room table that can hold six people. We did host passover for my Dad, stepmom Kim, sister Kaila and brother Josh, but that's just about the capacity we can handle here.

We did spend thanksgiving with my inlaws and I contributed two desserts: walnut-gingerbread panna cotta and pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The panna cotta is from the recent issue (November 2009) of Martha Stewart's everyday food and the recipe should be found online on the website by doing a search for panna cotta.

This recipe was not hard at all - puree 20 gingerbread cookies and 3/4 cup walnuts in a miniprep to make the crust and mix with 3 T of butter and a T of brown sugar. Then press into a pie plate. The crust then should be baked at 325 until lightly browned for about 25 minutes.

The filling is prepared first by heating 1/2 cut heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of honey and a quarter teaspoon salt. Then I whisked in a package of gelatin that had been activated in 3 tablespoons of water. The gelatin is what will ultimately make the panna cotta congeal. Finally, away from the heat, I added 1 3/4 cup greek yogurt (you must use greek yogurt, not plain yogurt - I chose to use 2% greek yogurt, however) and 3/4 a teasopon of vanilla.

Next the filling is added and the panna cotta should be refrigerated for 2 hours.

In addition, I made a fruit topping similar to the one in the book, which called for a chutney-like jam made of dried plums, brown sugar and orange zest. Instead of the dried plums, I substituted dried figs and it was delicious.

As far as the pumpkin cookies - I am not sure where the recipe came from but I have been making them since I was a kid. The recipe calls for mixing the following in a mixer - 2 sticks of butter, 1 1/3 cups Quaker oats. 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup of splenda-sugar (half sugar-half splenda), 1 cup libby's pumpkin puree, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Make into cookies and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until lightly browned.

One great way to make these cookies is to make them large and decorate them with pumpkin faces. This is perfect for with kids for halloween and I can't wait to do this with my own children every year like my mom did with me. You can decorate them with different color cake icings, m and ms, candy corns etc . . .

The creativity with these cookies is endless and perfect for children - like I said, I cannot wait to make these cookies with my own kids. They're also perfect for the adult who likes to be a kid. I looked forward to doing this every year at Halloween with my mom. I should add that the ones I made for thanksgiving were not decorated, however, but I figured the pumpkin was still seasonal and they seemed to be enjoyed just the same.

Panna Cotta on Foodista

Pumpkin on Foodista

Pumpkin Cookies on Foodista


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